Victorian London - Theatre and Shows - Theatres and Venues - Adelphi

Adelphi Theatre Calendar of Performances

Adelphi Theatre .. .open from Michaelmas to Easter. Performance commences at half past 6. Admission to the boxes, 4s.; pit 2s; gallery 1s.

The Adelphi Theatre, in the Strand, was originally opened by Mr. Scott, a colour-maker of the Strand, under the title of the Sans Pareil; but, in 1820, became the property of Messrs. Yates and Terry; and upon the secession of Mr. Terry, a sterling actor and great public favourite, Mr. Matthews, a performer of first-rate ability, and mimic of surpassing excellence, joined Mr. Yates; and for some years these gentlemen conducted the establishment with great success. Upon the death of Mr. Matthews, his share devolved to his son; who, however, very shortly after coming into possession, quitted it to join the company performing at the Olympic Theatre. It is at present the property of Messrs. Yates and Gladstone. The exterior presents a neat appearance; and the interior, though small, is handsomely decorated. The performances, with some few exceptions, are of a light and lively description, and generally attract numerous and fashionable audiences. Performances commence at half past six. The justly-celebrated Mr. John Reeve, recently deceased, an actor possessed of extraordinary comic powers, and thence denominated "immortal John," was, during the major part of his theatrical career, a member of this establishment.

Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844

ADELPHI THEATRE, over against Adam Street, Adelphi, in the STRAND, originally called THE SANS PAREIL, built on speculation by Mr. John Scott, a colour-maker, and first opened Nov. 27th 1806. The entertainments consisted of a mechanical and optical exhibition, with songs, recitations, and imitations; and the talents of Miss Scott, the daughter of the proprietor, gave a profitable turn to the undertaking. When "Tom and Jerry," by Pierce Egan, appeared for the first time (Nov. 26th 1821), Wrench as "Tom" and Reeve as "Jerry," the little Adelphi, as it was then called, became a favourite with the public. Its fortunes varied under different managements. In July 1825, Terry and Yates became the joint lessees and managers. Terry was backed by Sir Walter Scott and hisfriend Ballantyne, the printer, but Scott in the sequel had to pay for both Ballantyne and himself to the amount of 1750l. Between 1828 and 1831, Charles Matthews, in conjunction with Yates, leased the theatre, and gave here his series of inimitable "At Homes." Here John Reeve drew large houses, and obtained his reputation; and here Wright and Paul Bedford maintain the former character of the establishment. The old front door towards the Strand was a mere house-front: the present gin-palace facade was built in 1841.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

The ROYAL ADELPHI THEATRE, Strand. The old Adelphi, - the home of Wrench and Reeve and Mrs. Yates, of O. Smith and Wright, of the most violent melodrama (until Mr. Buckstone initiated a new style) and the most reckless farce, - was pulled down by its proprietor, Mr. Benjamin Webster, in 1858, and rebuilt. It has recently become celebrated for the unparalleled "run" of Mr. Boucicault's Irish melodrama, "The Colleen Bawn."
Class of Performance: Melodrama, farce, and burlesque.
Admission: Private boxes, 11. to 41. 4s.; stalls, 5s.; balcony, 4s.; first circle, 3s.; pit, 1s. 6d.; amphitheatre stalls, 1s.; gallery, 6d. Doors open at half-past six; curtain rises at seven p.m.

Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865

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Adelphi Theatre, 411, Strand, built 1858; the old house, the most inconvenient and the most popular in London, being pulled own to make way for it. The present building is handsome and roomy, with a large balcony in lieu of dress-circle. The old Adelphi was for years the recognised house of melodrama and screaming farce, but of late it has gone in rather for adaptations from the French, commonly of pieces of the melodramatic type. There is only one entrance—from the Strand—to all parts of the house, except the gallery, the door of which is in Bull Inn-court, but there are additional exits at the right-hand side into Bull Inn-court, which can be opened in case of fire, and the main entrance has lately been divided into two; the small side door on the west side being now used for the pit, whilst the large central door is reserved for the dress-circle and stalls. Nearest Railway Stations, Charing-cross (Dist. & S.E.); Omnibus Routes, Strand, St. Martins-ln, Chancery-lane, and Waterloo-bridge. 

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

Adelphi Theatre, a well-known and popular house of entertainment first built by Scott, and known as the Sans Pareil, opened November 1806; named the Adelphi in 1820 by Rodwell and Jones, who transferred it to Terry and Yates ... It is now in the hands of Messrs. Gatti, who produce melodramas, and have added a Restaurant to the theatre. Three restaurants in the vicinity - viz. Romano's, at No.399 Strand; the Vienna at 395; and the Adelphi Restaurant, at 68 - provide viands and beverages.

Herbert Fry, London, 1889

see also Montagu Williams in Round London - click here

ADELPHI THEATRE, 411, Strand (Map 7.) was for years the recognised home of melodrama and screaming farce, and it still preserves, with variations, some of its original character. The old Adelphi was associated with Benjn. Webster, and Mdme. Celeste, Paul Bedford, J.L.Toole, etc. The present building is handsome and roomy, being under the management, as is also the comfortable and well-known restaurant adjoining, of Messrs. Gatti. Stalls, 10s 6d.; dress circle 6s. ; upper circle 4s. and 3s.; pit 2s. 6d; gallery 1s. NEAREST Ry. Stns. Charing + (Dis. & S.E.), Strand (Electric Ry.), connecting with the Underground Ry. system for N. and W.; Omnibuses from City and W. pass the door.

Charles Dickens Jr. et al, Dickens Dictionary of London, c.1908 edition 
(no date; based on internal evidence)